When someone buys a new computer or reimages a hard drive, one thing that usually impresses them is the speed of their system. The computer wakes up quickly, and Web pages display almost instantly. Over time, though, computers often slow down. Here are the four main reasons why:
Too many programs: It’s not unusual for a person to have dozens of programs installed on their computer. While many people think they only consume system resources while they are actually running, this isn’t the case. Every program takes up some of the computer’s memory. If your computer takes forever to start up and runs slowly, you may simply have too many programs installed.
Not enough memory: RAM, or random access memory, is what allows the computer to perform tasks like opening documents, accessing Web pages, and loading programs. All programs consume RAM, and if you run out, your computer will be extremely sluggish.
Malware: This is a broad term used to describe viruses, spyware, and adware. All types of malware can slow down your computer, and it’s a very common reason why computers don’t perform like they did when they were new.
Registry errors: Your computer executes tasks by accessing files stored in the Windows registry. Over time, these files can get moved or split apart. Your computer still needs them, though, and takes longer to find them. This has the effect of slowing down your entire system.
The good news is that these problems can be fixed relatively easily. Deleting programs you don’t use, running a registry repair program, and investing in quality anti-virus and anti-spyware software are all ways to speed up your system. If your computer is very old, it may simply not have the RAM to handle everything, so you might need to upgrade your desktop or add some memory to increase speed.